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KATE GOSSELIN: How She Fooled The World: The Rise And Fall Of A Reality TV Queen Paperback – July 18, 2014
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Okay, disclaimer done, now on to the review. I purchased the first edition of this ebook when it came out two years ago and still have it on my Kindle. When I heard a second edition was coming out, I decided to purchase it as well so I could compare them. The second edition has definitely been edited and flows much more smoothly. Mr. Hoffman does a good job at paraphrasing the content he had originally published verbatim in the first edition and he has added additional information as well. I find I have to read this in small chunks so I can digest the information being shared as there is a lot of it. Overall, it's a rather tragic look at the negative effects of instant fame and wealth and how that led to this family's sad disintegration.
Several reviewers on Amazon have stated that there issue is that Mr. Hoffman is just stating his opinion and doesn't back any of it up. Owning the first edition, I can share that he did indeed publish all the contracts, emails, diary entries, etc. the first time around, which is one of the reasons the book was initially pulled during it's first release. One thing I noted when Discovery and Ms. Gosselin were filing their lawsuits against Mr. Hoffman two years ago was that at no time did either party sue Mr. Hoffman for libel, i.e. false statements. The issue at hand was that Mr. Hoffman had published confidential information in the forms of the contracts, emails, and, according to Ms. Gosselin, entries from her personal diary. Ms. Gosselin never denied that the entries did not come from her personal diary only that he used them without her permission. Just something to consider when reading this second edition.
As for the content of the book, I find it disturbing and, if true, I feel very sorry for those 8 children. I don't find it outside the realm of probability that Ms. Gosselin has emotionally, verbally and physically abused her children and animals - she clearly did so on camera to her husband. Again, based on nothing more than what I witnessed on "the realest reality show out there. What you see is what you get." (Ms. Gosselin's words during various interviews), Ms. Gosselin appears to have at best several issues with needing to be in control no matter what as well as a belief that having things and money will make you happy and fulfilled in this life and a need to be the center of attention. At worst, Mr. Hoffman's statement that she has bipolar disorder and refuses to even acknowledge that as truth let alone take medication to control it is true, which is very sad for all those involved, especially her children.
She clearly has cut out people in her life - her parents, her siblings, her ex-husband, and friends such as Beth Carson, whom she wrote a book with - because "they don't know how to help her", which I believe is Kate speak for "They called me out on my behavior and choices and I didn't like it so I got rid of them". I find this the saddest thing of all. On her recent special, she claimed to cry behind closed doors because her life is so hard. I would submit to Ms. Gosselin the notion that perhaps if she repaired these relationships she's "cut out" of her life, she might have more of a support system in place to help her with her family and her own needs. She should also consider therapy to help her learn to co-parent more effectively with her ex-husband, Jon.
If nothing else, I would hope that Ms. Gosselin would watch her recent special and realize that her children were sending a very clear message that they don't want to film anymore, that she would take that to heart and decide to pursue a career in the entertainment industry based on her own talents and merits without involving her children.
When all is said and done, it's well worth the $8 I paid for the re-release and I do recommend the book, as well as the book by Polly Kahl, to learn more about the effect of reality tv on everyday people. There are some spelling and grammatical errors, but honestly I see that in a lot of books I purchase these days. I blame the reliance on spell & grammar check by the editors, personally. I wouldn't let that keep you from buying the book.
Obviously, their mother is only worried about her image, and her money. Shame, shame, on TLC, Discovery, and all the enablers she surrounds herself with.
Does anyone really think she has changed her ways? I suspect the abuse has just gotten worse.